Between the bustling streets and narrow allies of the cities, among the tall building, on the beaten footpaths, every city has a story to tell. The silent walls and sky kissing scrapers have seen the world, heard the people talk and thus they know what all has happened there, they are the secret keepers of these beautiful cities. Cities that never sleep, cities that are made of dreams and cities with a religious touch, every city has a story to tell. Artists explore these stories, untold and unheard, with their art and make sure that they are at least seen, in a unique way, from their unique perspective.
Banaras Ghat, with temples that look as good as real, cloudy skies and calm waters of Ganga, create Amit Bhar stunning paintings. Amit uses different mediums such as oils, acrylics and watercolour to breath life in his paintings. For those who don’t know about Amit’s realism, might mistake them for photographs. The artist usually focuses on capturing the beauty of Banaras, of Ganga Ghat in its full glory. He has painted the serenity of Banaras in different times of the day. ‘Night at Banaras Ghat’ is an illustration of the Ghat, illuminated with oil lamps floating in the holy water of Ganga, those lit in the temples and the street lights. ‘Morning at Banaras Ghat’ on the contrary, depicts the tranquillity of this beautiful Ghat, at the dawn. The first rays of the sun, touching the temple, the mist rising up from the holy waters and it seems if you pay attention, you may hear the saints’ chanting morning mantras.
Unlike other artists, who often portray the beauty of religious cities, Purnendu’s paintings, capture the busyness of the metro city of Kolkata. In his ‘After the Rain’ series, the artist paints light reflections of people and vehicles on the wet and slippery streets to show the after-effects of rains in Kolkata. Rickshaw puller and trams, the lifelines of Kolkata transportation make frequent appearances in these paintings. The buildings in Purnendu’s paintings create a perspective, bold and clear in the front that gradually turns lighter and ultimately blend with the horizon. Other than different seasons, the artist paints Kolkata in different times of the day, such as a bright red-orange city at the dawn, or a golden yellow towards the sunset. Purnendu’s paintings capture the essence of Kolkata, with all its important elements.
Somnath Bothe found his muse in Banaras Ghats. The simplicity of the holy Varanasi can be perfectly seen on Somnath’s monochromatic canvas. He paints the temples on the Ganga Ghat surrounded with a mist. The hints of reds and oranges in the form of umbrellas and priests, add a highlight to his paintings. Along with Banaras Ghats, Somthan also likes to experiment with the metro cities of Mumbai and New Delhi and the historic city, Hyderabad. He recreates the iconic monuments from these cities on his canvas, in a monochromatic blue-grey tone and paints his signature tonga or horse-carriage with a vividly coloured umbrella. Somnath’s paintings are monochromatic. They can be shades of yellow, orange, purple along with the classic grey. The colour pallet reflects the time of the day and life of the city is portrayed by the architecture, tongas and other distinctive elements.
Amit found his muse at sacred and historic places in India. His paintings explore the iconic beauty of Indian historic cities, architectures, sculptures and locations. His paintings have an alluring effect on the onlookers’ mind. The perspective, play of light and shadow, details around the curves of the sculptures and edges of the buildings are absolutely stunning and resemble the real buildings. His painting is not merely a piece of art, but a storyteller, eagerly looking for its audience.
M Singh’s art explores the theme of Indian villages and cities. The houses are in close proximity with each other, thus recreating the illusion of bigger cities. He plays with earthy tones of different colours and adds textures to his cityscapes. His cityscapes resonate the abstract form of cities, the ones that are bustling with people and buzzing with the crowd. The straight blunt brush strokes, with little details here and their form the busy cities of Singh’s paintings. The hint of hunchback moon or vibrant yellow in the skies depicts the time of the day. The shape of his brushstrokes defines the nature of his cities, busy, rustic or religious.
Unlike many other artists, who focus on the architecture, iconic buildings or hustle and bustle of the cities, Santhana Krishnana found his muse in doors. He spent his childhood riding a bicycle around the quaint town of Kumbakonam. He stood in front of the closed, half-open and open doors, admiring their beauty and simplicity. The frames, the glimpse of the backyard, the well-lit porch, fascinated him. He found them poetic and mysterious. Santhana recreates these iconic doors on his canvas, taking us on a trip to his most cherished childhood memories. The fading wall colours, peeling advertisements of popular snacks, drinks and movie posters from the 90s would evoke a sense of déjÀ Vu in the onlookers, reminding them of their hometown, their childhood.